Eternal Return

As this trio of losers run through the city (a sequence that must account for at least half the film), Sabu riffs on their respective subjectivity. In one quintessential urban encounter, all three successively fantasize about the same woman they dash past. Although the original reason for the pursuit is forgotten, this bongo-scored, endorphin-fueled, totally pointless chase culminates in a generic movie scenario: The trio barge into a yakuza universe, a convergence that convention dictates must litter the screen with corpses.

Japanese reviewers found Sabu's debut to be impressively Tarantino-esque. Others suspect that Non-Stop, which was shown to great enthusiasm at the 1997 Berlin Film Festival, may have inspired the following year's Run Lola Run. Non-Stop is some sort of high-concept contraption, but the bravado of its title is undermined by an exceedingly slow setup and the even more tediously static sequence that effectively terminates the movie well before its official running time.

Tank girl: Zhou Xun in Suzhou River
photo: Strand Releasing
Tank girl: Zhou Xun in Suzhou River


Suzhou River
Written and directed by Lou Ye
A Strand release
Film Forum
Through November 21

Written and directed by Sabu
A Shooting Gallery release
Loews State
Opens November 10

Charlie's Angels
Directed by McG
Written by Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, and John August
A Columbia release

The Karate Boogaloo of the 1970s lives: Charlie's Angels, the first feature directed by the music-video ace known as McG is about as subtle as a boombox. But this amiably idiotic $90 million inflation of the haute-'70s TV show is immeasurably helped by Yuen Cheung-yan's martial arts leap-kick-chop choreography. Thus, when they're not wrapped in bikinis, wet suits, and towels (and sometimes when they are), Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu complement their flirty butt-thrusts with a ferocious assortment of midair spins and ninja gyrations.

A small army of writers was reportedly required to produce this episodic televisual narrative in which the indestructible Angels, disguised variously as Middle Eastern belly dancers, Japanese hostesses, and even Bavarian barmaids, fight the good fight against "the end of privacy as we know it." Not only does Charlie's Angels take a courageous stand against corporate, computer-driven, Big Brother chicanery, it deserves an award from the Dairy Farmers of America: The cheesy disco action scenes are topped only by the movie's ripe double entendres and continual cheesecake.

The lanky, grinning Diaz gets the most opportunity to exercise her considerable talent for physical comedy—it's almost worth the price of admission to see her booty-shaking appearance on Soul Train. The movie is basically a girlfight, although Bill Murray, Crispin Glover, and Tim Curry are on hand to add to the clownshow antics. Even John Forsythe is exhumed to provide the voice of the godlike Charlie—although in the unavoidable sequel I hope to see his part taken by that other '70s retread, Tim Meadows's Ladies Man.

« Previous Page

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!